Special to The Dallas Examiner
As Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced that a significant number of Dallas ISD seniors are expected to graduate this year with an associate degree, a room full of industry partners and campus leaders burst into applause.
Hinojosa shared the news at a Jan. 17 event celebrating the 77 businesses, education and civic leaders and partners who have teamed up with Dallas ISD P-TECHs to relentlessly support students through mentorship, internships and networking. These 77 valuable partners together have provided about 6,000 industry engagements with district students, providing them with real-world insight and experience. The industry partner celebration came four years after Dallas ISD launched the P-TECH initiative.
“In my 25 years as a superintendent, I have never seen anything as impactful as what we are doing together,” Hinojosa stated. “Nothing makes me prouder than what you have done to support our kids.”
P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. Dallas ISD has 18 designated P-TECH campuses. As part of the program, students can choose a career pathway and take courses that provide the academic, technical, and workplace skills that are attractive to employers.
Students have the potential to earn an associate degree in four to six years, along with industry certificates for their selected career pathway – opportunities that can potentially lead to paid internships and job placement after graduation.
During the celebration, each P-TECH industry partner was recognized for their commitment to serving students and shared their thoughts on their involvement with the program.
“We have seen that this P-TECH program has captured the imagination of parents and students all over Dallas ISD. This is meaningful, and it’s an honor for us to be involved,” said UNT-Dallas President Bob Mong.
Anna Mays, associate vice chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, expressed being proud to make a difference in the lives of local students through partnership with Dallas ISD and UNT Dallas. She stated that many of the students served through the program would not have had the opportunity to attend college otherwise. She concluded by thanking the others in attendance for their commitment to the program.
Eric Reeves, managing director of HighSTEPS discussed how the partners have built the foundation for the program over the past four years, allowing for them to now innovate it further.
Through the district’s 27 P-TECHs, Early College High Schools and Collegiate Academies, Dallas ISD students have earned 143,764 college credit hours through Fall 2019.
Applications to apply to a P-TECH, ECHS or Collegiate Academy are available at https://www.dallasisd.org/ collegiateacademies. Deadline is Jan. 31. For additional information, visit online or call 972-925-3700.